J and I made an impromptu trip to the Carolina Raptor Center yesterday. The Raptor Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned birds of prey. I felt so bad for the birds because most of them had some form of permanent injuries like damaged wings or loss of sight and so have to be kept housed.
The Raptor Center is not a huge place. You can complete the trail in about an hour, unless you stop to talk to the birdies like we did. The one bird that captured my heart was the little Barn Owl, Emma.
Emma arrived at the Raptor Center in June 2004. As a result of a car collision, both her wings were broken, and she cannot fly well enough to be released back into the wild.
When I first looked into her cage, Emma was hiding behind the post. I called out to her, hoping she would respond to her name. Sure enough, after several calls, she came out of hiding and flew onto the grilles of her cage to get as close to us as possible. I touched her claw and she made a noise that sounded more like white noise over the radio than the regular "whoo-whoo" you'd expect.
Later, we walked into a wooded area and saw a black snake. *gasp* J tried to catch it by its tail but it slipped away. That prompted something else to make a sudden movement. This little guy hopped away. Then it dawned on us that the snake was actually about to snag a meal before we interfered.
Erm, so we saved him?
Before we left the center, J bought two pellets of owl poop so we can dissect them later. We also picked up volunteer forms. Hopefully when J gets his new school schedule we can work something out!